PJI Fights to Keep San Francisco Kids Safe in Medical Marijuana Case

San Francisco, CA–The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is appealing the San Francisco Planning Commission’s decision to grant a conditional use to a medical marijuana dispensary that wishes to set up shop in the city’s Sunset District, in violation of California’s Health and Safety Code.

Medical marijuana dispensaries (MMDs) have been legal in California for a number of years, and dispensaries that sell marijuana for recreational use became legalized last fall when California voters passed Prop. 64.  However, the cultivation, possession, distribution, sale, and/or use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and even Prop. 64 prohibits MMDs from setting up shop within 600 feet of places where children congregate, such as day care centers and youth centers.

Although citizens of the Sunset District showed up in force to the Planning Commission’s July 13 meeting and waited practically an entire day to express overwhelming opposition to the MMD’s proposed location at 2505 Noriega Street, the commission voted 5-1 to approve the conditional use.  PJI—which represents Ark of Hope Preschool and Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit, two places where children congregate that are well within 600 feet of the proposed location—is thus appealing to San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors to have the decision overturned.  Forty percent of the property owners within 300 feet have signed the petition to appeal this decision.  This is double the requisite twenty percent mandated for such an appeal.

“In choosing to grant the conditional use to the MMD, the San Francisco Planning Commission made the unfortunate choice to ignore California law,” PJI President Brad Dacus said.  “PJI intends to see that laws protecting children are enforced and the will of the voters must be completely respected by the City of San Francisco.”

PJI will hold a press conference concerning the appeal at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 27, in front of San Francisco’s City Hall.  For more information, please contact PJI at (916) 857-6900.